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PJ for a well lit room

3308 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  bud16415
I am looking for a decent projector for a decently lit room. I will obviously try to control the lighting in the projection half of the room, but it won't be dark all of the time. The room is about 35 x 40 feet and will serve as sort of a sports lounge (with other TV's around it). The screen will be about 120" give or take. I will also be dimming the lights and using it as a theater on occasion. According to this article: http://www.projectorpeople.com/resou...umen-guide.asp I should have at least 2,200 lumens in a projector. Any reccomendations would be appreciated greatly
. Thanks!

Edit: I am leaning towards the Epson PowerLite 8100. It is only 1800 lumens, but seems decent for the price. Good Choice?
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Keep in mind most projectors don't output what the lumens rating is.....and if they do its in the brigthest mode of the projector which means the colors are off somewhat.....with that said I have an Epson 1080 and use the brightest mode and think you can calibrate it to acceptability especially for sports.....so if you paint the area where you have your projector a dark color, I think the 8100 will work in your situation.....here's my situation and sports work great, room 12 x 30, epson 1080 in dynamic mode low lamp, 150" screen, all walls white, can have lights on in back 1/3 room no problem.....that is for watching sports.....
Here is the problem with lumens, beside the fact colors may be slightly distorted in torch mode. Projectors output everything between white and black and million of shades of color in between. They do not produce blacks and dark colors any better no matter how many lumens you have because they do so by limiting light output, or in the case of black try and shut light output off totally. Simply put darks will look like the screen itself under whatever ambient light is striking it. Cranking up the bright end will cause more room reflections back to the screen brightening the darks and thus lower CR even more.

That said lumens are the fix but only IMHO when coupled to a darker neutral gray screen in applications such as yours. Your room is exactly the same as what I did in mine. It's a dual mode room with the ability for sports viewing with a comfortable amount of light on in the viewers end of the room and also functions well lights out more like a 120 plasma than a movie like image.

The key is all the above plus (gray). Darken the wall and ceiling close to the screen (about 5 feet out) control the lighting at the seating end intensity (dimmers) and also direction (spots not floods etc). Then get as much horsepower in the projector as you can and plan on attenuating a good amount of that light into the gray screen. In a room such as yours directional gain may or may not be your friend. If your viewing area is narrow then maybe add in a component of screen gain. But with a room that large I see people watching from lots of angles.

Also keep in mind things like sports and much of normal TV sitcom type images are full of high contrast ANSI like images. These type images lend themselves best to ambient viewing with a setup like this. The reason being much of the darks you will be seeing will be a form of perception of contrast in how our eyes adjust. If you try and watch a movie that contains lots of very dark images at night the perception will be lost due to the overpowering of the room lighting. It will still be better than with a brighter screen but you will be wanting for CR and shadow details.

Below is a test another member did showing how gray works.

Lights on

Lights off
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What is the main difference between the 8100 and the 1080 or even the 6100? Is it release date/newer version? The 1080 and 6100 seem to be a bit more expensive.
Bud, thank you! What projector were you running? You are absolutely right about the wide room and many viewers. Here is my room setup http://ssgross.com/Basement/BasementPlans.gif
The Epson 1080 and 6100 were previous generations of the current 8100. Their retail prices at the time were more expensive than the current 8100.

Both Bud and I are among the more staunch ambient light setup advocates around here. The commonality in our setups are that you try to keep the walls / ceiling / floor surrounding the screen as dark as possible, and avoid any lighting spill onto the screen itself.

I use a high gain retro reflective screen with a table mounted projector. You have to table or shelf mount the projector as close as possible to your eye level, as these types of screens bounce light back at the source to achieve their high gain. One limitation of this type of setup is that you can't have ambient light coming from behind you, because that light too is 'amplified' by the screen.

I think the 8100 is probably the best overall choice for your situation. The new BenQ 6000 is another possible choice if you want to go DLP. Another option, although more costly, is the Optoma TX1080.

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Originally Posted by SWiG /forum/post/18113909

Bud, thank you! What projector were you running? You are absolutely right about the wide room and many viewers. Here is my room setup http://ssgross.com/Basement/BasementPlans.gif

My project was much more modest than yours and done quite a few years back, 4 or 5 I guess. At that time the state of the art in HT projectors wasn't trending to as bright of projectors as now. So I selected a business grade presentation projector. And a DIY screen. IMO people are overly swayed by advertised specs on projectors and particularly CR specs. Once you really start digging into actual measured specs and the way they are measured and the effect even a slight amount of light has on the actual CR. That's when I became a big fan of light canons and low gain high dispersion neutral gray screens, for my application anyway. The projector I'm using is a XGA DLP Sharp XR10X that is no longer in production, but is manufactured rated at 2000 lumens and 2000:1 CR. Pretty poor specs by any of today's measures for sure but it still wows viewers, 2 lamps and 4 years later.

The difference between a home theater, media room and a multi purpose room are like night and day (pun intended).

I don't have any HD content pictures on line but should take some. below are a couple examples though of SD images, that might give you a idea of the light tolerance I'm getting and one showing the kind of bright high contrast image you will see when going into movie mode lights out.

The first picture shows a test screen ANSI pattern with every light in the room max. this is way higher than I would ever use, but was taken to show someone else the interaction of lots of lumens and a dark screen. In this case a DIY screen.

Your layout looks amazing by the way.

All on for test

Lights out SD DVD

Dark ceiling 5 ft back

The old workhorse
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